Canon RF 14-35mm F4L IS USM Review

May 6, 2022 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


As a smaller, lighter and cheaper alternative to the flagship RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM zoom, the newer F4 version makes perfect sense for a lot of enthusiasts and proferssionals alike.

It might not be as fast as its flagship F2.8 sibling, but for many photographers the extra portability will be much more attractive, not to mention the added bonus of an ever so slightly wider field of view and the significantly lower price tag.

If you’re a photographer who is consistently shooting subjects such as landscapes and architecture, the RF 14-35mm F4L IS USM is a bit of a no-brainer. As it goes to a more “standard” focal length of 35mm, it’s also well worth considering as a general walk-around option, too.

The Canon RF 14-35mm F4L IS USM proved to be a great partner for the Canon EOS R5 camera, forming a compact, well-built, weather-proof system that delivers excellent image quality.

Optically, both the centre and edge sharpness are very high throughout all of its focal length range. Sure, you don't get the faster maximum aperture of f/2.8 offered by the RF 14-35mm F4L IS USM and therefore quite the same shallow depth-of-field effects, but this lens is much smaller, lighter and crucially cheaper whilst offering the same build quality and feature set.

Chromatic aberrations are almost completely absent, distortion is very well controlled, and flare is notably absent even when shooting directly into the sun. The only notable optical issue is some obvious vignetting at 14mm.

The in-lens image stabilisation provides 5.5 stops of compensation when this lens is used with Canon cameras which don't have IBIS built into the body, increasing to an even more impressive 7 stops when mounted on those cameras that do have in-built stablisation, like the EOS R5 that we tested it with.

In summary, the RF 14-35mm F4L IS USM is an excellent all-day walk-around addition to the Canon RF lens range that we'd recommend to most users of the system, unless you're absolutely sure that you really do need the maximum F/2.8 aperture of the RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM and you don't mind paying the significant extra for it.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 4